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Best homemade spicy cocktail sauce?

Most cocktail sauces seem to call for ketchup, lemon juice, tabasco, Worcestershire and horseradish to taste. Is there anything else that can make a better version of this classic? Homemade ketchup?

I look forward to your thoughts.

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  1. I use thickened cream and a little brandy - mostly with the ingredients you mentioned but I rarely have horseradish on hand. Sometimes I add paprika, a little nutmeg, or some cayenne pepper to add a bit of heat.

    I'm not sure if that would sound weird to you - I'm in Australia - our seafood sauce is, more often than not, probably creamier than you're used to (just judging by your original post).

    Wikipedia's entry describes different cultural conventions.

    1. I use chili sauce instead of ketchup. And lemon zest.

      1. For the holidays, I usually do two versions of shrimp cocktail; one traditional sauce like you've illustrated and one with lime instead of lemon and minced cilantro for a heat alternative to horseradish. I serve two platters of shrimp; the steamed shrimp chilled out of the shell (tail on) and warm grilled with a white wine marinade.

        1. I'm big on chili sauce instead of ketchup, better flavor, a bit more texture, imo, with horseradish, lemon juice and hot sauce. A little Worcestershire doesn't hurt. Homemade chunky ketchup would be nice as a base.

          I used to make a peachy cocktail sauce, a combo of homemade mayo and sour cream or creme fraiche, cayenne pepper, flavorful fresh or frozen peaches, diced very fine, a little lemon juice, and a good shot of peach brandy. Season with salt and white pepper. Weirdish, but tasty on grilled or oven roasted shrimp.

          1. There was a good thread on this in the Favorite Condiments topic.

            2 Replies
            1. re: GraydonCarter

              could you link that thread here, GC.

              1. re: HillJ

                Heh, now I can't find it or I was imagining it.

                However, I did find this 'Favorite Cocktail Sauce" topic:

            2. I do a 'white' version of the traditional red cocktail sauce that actually goes very well with most fish dishes and couldn't be simpler.

              To a small carton (about 1 cup) of GOOD sour cream (not non-fat or even lowfat, but real restaurant style thick sour cream), add 2 tablespoons of horseradish and a dash of salt and some grated lemon rind (or lime rind for colour contrast). Allow to blend for at least an hour and serve for shrimp-dipping or as a sauce for cooked cod, sole, halibut or any other white fish.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LJS

                Thank-you! That sounds good! I'll have to make it.

              2. here is my go to seafood sauce. I think i originally got this from Joe's stone Crab house.

                1 tablespoon Colman's dry mustard, or more to taste,
                1 cup mayonnaise
                2 teaspoons Worcestershire
                1 teaspoon A-1 sauce
                2 tablespoons light cream

                Mix together and then let blend for at least 1/2 hour.

                1. love the looks of many of the home made chili sauce recipes I've found online.


                  although I have cocktail sauce&seafood sauce in the pantry, prefer to make my own using the typicals.
                  I keep the jarred stuff because I've had recipes call for it: ie., pot roast or baked or bbq'd beans.

                  as a footnote to this post since people are speaking of horseradish, if you have to buy the stuff, why not go big and order Atomic horseradish, it's killer...............killer hot...................... no.......................... > really ;:-/